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Day 1 – Chair of the District: Revd Helen Kirk

The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it,
    the world, and those who live in it. Psalm 24:1 

On the first day of the month we lift our eyes and look beyond our diaries and our church meetings to the beauty of God’s creation.  We rejoice in the vibrancy and diversity, in the majestic and the miniscule, in the complexity of the earth and her people that we are intricately connected to and we praise God and give thanks……

On this first day of the month we lower our eyes and confess our part in creation’s destruction.  We reflect upon the way the human race has used the earth’s resources as a commodity to be possessed and plundered rather than as a sacred gift.  We confess that so often we are concerned with the ease of our lives without considering the consequences of our actions: 

Lord, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.

On this first day of the month we see people who are directly affected by the climate crisis: the dispossessed and hungry; those whose homes are flooded or whose land is scorched or destroyed by rising sea levels. 

‘In confidence in God’s good purposes for creation we ask God to: protect human populations made vulnerable by changes in climate; protect those in generations to come who will inherit the problems we have created; and protect those plant and animal species whose habitats will be eradicated by global warming. 

We pray for: nations to recognize the urgency of action in response to climate change; politicians to be bold in setting out strategy to achieve the goals that need to be reached; and the citizens of nations – and especially nations like ours – to be motivated to support costly action to cut carbon emissions and seek to ameliorate its effects for those it threatens’.  (Prayer from ‘Hope in God’s Future’ JPIT report) 

On this first day of the month we look to ourselves and ask how we might act differently in some small way to be the answer to our own prayer. 

Challenge us Lord to make a practical change in the way we live, that we might more faithfully love our neighbours as ourselves.  Amen.

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Day 2 - North Cheshire Circuit  (11/01)   (1)

Ministry:
Revd J. Neil Stacey (Superintendent), Revd David J. Bintliff, Revd Joanna M. Brown, Deacon Timothy A. Coleman, Revd Alison L. Crookes, Revd Dr Christine M. Dutton, Revd Andrew M. Emison, Revd David J. Goodwin, Revd Lisa MacInnes (C of E).

Supernumeraries: Deacon John F. Clarke, Revd David Copley, Revd F. Bernard Dodd, Revd D. George Evans, Revd D. Graham Evans, Revd Ralph E. Fennell, Revd Anne E. Gibson, Revd Claire M. Heald, Revd Christine M. Jones, Revd Dr Timothy S. Macquiban, Revd Ian Rigby, Revd Paul Taylor.

Lay Workers: Children and Families – Cath Clarke, Beth Ferrigno and Pippa Jacobson; Administration – Heather Oulton and Peter Sandercock; City Centre Mission Development – Andrew Herbert.

The North Cheshire Circuit is a new family of 25 congregations (including two in MHA homes) with a mission in a wide range of contexts.  The north of the Circuit lies along the M56 motorway, stretching from the city of Chester to the town of Runcorn, with the larger villages of Helsby and Frodsham in between.  In north-east Wales we have congregations at Saltney and Bretton.  Further south the Circuit encircles Delamere Forest, stretching down to Bunbury.

Give thanks for:

  • The links that have already been made in preparation for the new Circuit being formed;
  • The new staff who have been appointed to our Circuit – Jo Brown, Tim Coleman and Alison Crookes;
  • The links with a range of local Primary schools through The Hope Journey, assemblies, and workshops;
  • The groups working with young children and families in a number of churches;
  • The work with Foodbanks in Saltney, Chester and Runcorn;
  • Developing ecumenical partnerships with the Church of England in Kelsall and with the United Reformed Church in Hoole.

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Day 3 – North Cheshire Circuit  (11/01)   (2)

Please pray for:

  • A new sense of mission across our new Circuit; 
  • Developing work with those affected by homelessness;
  • The growth of our work with teenagers and young adults;
  • New patterns of ministry shared between a presbyter and a deacon in Runcorn, and new patterns of rural ministry;
  • The growing ‘Open Table’ congregation at Wesley in Chester, welcoming LGBTQIA people and all who seek an inclusive Church;
  • New small groups for prayer and equipping people for discipleship.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.  At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.  Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.  Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.”

(Colossians 4:2-6)

Gracious and loving God,
Help us to live each moment as people who depend on Your grace in Christ.
Inspire us with Your live-giving Spirit;

and may the good news of Your kindness to us flood into our thoughts, 
our words and our actions, 
so that we become signs of the work of Your Kingdom.
Amen.   

                                                                                                  (Revd Neil Stacey)

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Day 4 – Mid-Cheshire Circuit  (11/04)

Ministry:
Revd Christopher N. Pritchard (Superintendent), Revd A. James Patron Bell, Revd Tim P. Simms, Deacon Shirley Hassall, Revd David Spence (URC), Revd Neal Stanton (Zac’s House Kingdom Community), Revd Paul Withington (CofE)

Supernumeraries: Revd Patricia A. Billsborrow, Revd Paul R.J. Cieka, Revd Norman Pine, Revd Dr Andrew E. Pratt, Deacon Eileen Wright.

Volunteer Lay Pastoral Worker: Kathryn Craig

The Circuit covers the two towns of Northwich and Winsford and a number of surrounding villages.  There is a growing emphasis on light industry, distribution and commuting, although agriculture is also important in the rural areas.  The Circuit comprises 17 churches including one Anglican/Methodist LEP and one Methodist/URC LEP.  As a Circuit we believe that we are called to show God’s love to a needy world and particularly to the peoples of Northwich, Winsford and the surrounding area. 

Give thanks for:

  • All those who minister in the circuit;
  • Those who volunteer their time to serve God through worship and mission activities.

Please pray for:

  • Deacon Shirley Hassall our probationary Deacon as she settles into the life of our circuit;
  • The work of Zac’s House Kingdom Community, a joint initiative of the Knutsford Methodist Church and the Mid-Cheshire Circuit to plant a new young Christian community in the centre of Northwich;
  • Our Circuit Messy Church initiative held monthly at Trinity Methodist church in Winsford, as it goes through a change of leadership as some leaders leave and new ones take up the reins;
  • The work taking place at the Northwich Methodist Outreach Centre, particularly for the Cool Vibes youth group and the children’s film evenings;
  • The clients who use the Mid Cheshire foodbank which has distribution centres in a couple of our churches and is supported by the many members.

Holy Spirit
Help us to know Your presence with us.
Help us to seek Your guidance, show us the right paths for us to travel.
Help us to trust in You for all that we need.
Help us to ask for Your aid.
Amen.

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Day 5 – Dane & Trent Circuit  (11/05)

Ministry:
Revd Yvonne J. Pearson (Superintendent), Revd Anne R. Coates, Revd Nicola Langton-Miller.

Minister in other appointment residing in the Circuit:
Revd Derek J. Balsdon – MET Development Worker

Supernumeraries: Revd Dr Keith Davies, Revd Margaret E. Eaton, Revd Keith F. Jarvis, Revd K. Andrew Lindley, Revd Dr Philip J. Lockett, Revd Patricia A. Percival. The Revd Tony Tagg from a neighbouring circuit shares ministry within this Circuit.

Lay Workers: Mr Brian Gordon, Mrs. Margaret Quine, Mrs. Julia Tomes.

The Dane and Trent Circuit has a presence in its town centres and in beautiful rural settings.  It also crosses the border of Cheshire and Staffordshire.  The churches across the Circuit offer different styles of worship, some offering a variety of styles in the one church.  Our churches are part of the communities we live in and places where we demonstrate God’s love as we engage with people in many different ways.  The Circuit is continuing to seek God’s vision for us to be relevant in these challenging and developing times.  This is an exciting time to be church as we ask ourselves some challenging questions and look to be courageous risk takers for Christ. 

Give thanks for: 

  • Our new ministers The Revd Anne Coates and our Probationer minister Revd Nicola Langton-Miller;
  • Our Supernumerary Ministers who continue to minister within the Circuit in many different ways, and our lay workers both paid and unpaid at the heart of our churches; 
  • The Circuit’s engagement in Mission and new styles of being church; 
  • The prayerful oversight and leadership in the Circuit and churches both lay and ordained;
  • Those working with children, young people, young adults and families; 
  • Pastoral care offered within the life of our churches and communities.

Please pray for: 

  • Revd Nicola Langton-Miller as she begins her circuit ministry as our Probationer Minister and as she shares her gifts and graces in the churches she will care for;
  • Vision and courage to face the challenges of today and to move forward in our mission;
  • The Memory Cafe at Holmes Chapel Methodist Church which offers the love of Christ to the many who meet and enjoy their time together;
  • Visionary, courageous leaders in mission, ministry and discipleship across the Circuit;
  • All who quietly serve the Lord in our Churches and Circuit.

Loving and gracious God, we look for You to guide us, shape us for service and for mission and send us out into Your world in love. Give us generous hearts and gracious attitudes and actions.  Help us to be not only welcoming churches but purposely inviting churches. 

Give us the courage to invite people to come and take a closer look at Christ, and in this Year of Testimony help us to tell our stories of faith so that others may hear something of Your power and love in our lives. Bless each and every one who offers their lives in your service. 

In the name of Christ, Amen.


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Day 6 – The Ecumenical Landscape : Cheshire 

Ministry:
Revd Pat Billsborrow

Once again I write these words during the period where the churches are asked to pray “Thy Kingdom Come” and where Churches together in Cheshire have given opportunity for all the Christian people in the area to worship together in the four corners of the County.  We continue to pray towards a time when divisions can be broken down and all those who would claim to follow Jesus Christ would see themselves as siblings and seek to walk a journey which will lead to the coming of that Kingdom for which we pray.  Where there will be a time when, as the hymn writer puts it “war shall be no more” and the whole world can be the world as God intended in the beginning.  Our prayer is that as we break down local barriers our example might be repeated in the wider community, so that even in our own small corner a new light of unity might begin to glow to draw more and more people to a life of faith in these troubled times.  We pray that the Holy Spirit might inspire us all to demonstrate God’s love in our lives enabling us to use our energies in His service within the communities we serve.

We give thanks:

  • For the ongoing work of Open the Book where people are coming together to take the Scripture into the schools across denominational barriers; 
  • For the places where churches in villages are beginning to seek to work in partnership to serve the people; 
  • To God for places where doors which have divided are being opened wide in welcome to all who would come.

We continue to pray for: 

  • Andrew our County Ecumenical Officer who continues to hold us all together and inspires our work;
  • The Church Leaders Group as we continue to have their support as we build new communities of faith in the county;
  • All those who seek to follow Jesus that they can continue to see the denominations not as being in competition with one another but as fellow workers and kingdom builders on his behalf.

Lord, we come as Your people, seeking to build the Kingdom we pray to come daily in our prayers.  Help us to break down the barriers which divide us and show us the way to bring about the time when all people will reflect Your will that we should be one people with one Father wherever we might be.  We come and we go about our work in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.


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Day 7 - The Ecumenical Landscape : Staffordshire

Ministry:

Revd Margaret Eaton

During this year the County Ecumenical Mission officer, Robert Mountford, has continued to work extremely hard alongside the various ecumenical partnerships to make more links with other community agencies in our area.  Some new links have been formed with new independent Christian gatherings and also with Quaker groups.  He covers part of the Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury District, part of the Nottingham and Derby District and part of the Birmingham District as well as the southern part of our District. 

Give thanks for:

  • Foodbanks and pray for those who maintain this valuable service;
  • The work of the No. 11 Project and all that it does for people needing support in order to live a fuller life.

We pray for: 

  • Robert as he continues to lead us in looking at the work we are able to do together, especially making links with Christian congregations and Fellowships which are not part of the main denominations, so that we can work together to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in out localities;
  • The work of the chaplains in our area.  For the work of the chaplaincy team at Keele University as they look at ways of working together and encouraging the students to come closer to God and be able to share their faith with others.  We also pray for the work of chaplains at University Hospital of North Staffordshire as they minister at times of great need to patients, relatives and staff making a difference at the darkest of times;
  • A wider vision in order to discover ways to welcome and meet some of the basic needs of those who have come from other lands due to violence and lack of resources in their native countries. 

Loving Lord, remind us that You don’t have favourites and we are all called to be Your children.  Help us to find a way through any differences which could divide, so that together we can work to share the Gospel in all that we do and say.  Amen. 

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Day 8 – Cheshire South Circuit  (11/08)   (1)

Ministry:
Revd Rob Hilton (Superintendent), Revd Denise Harding, Revd Jennifer Matthews, Revd David Page (AP), Deacon Jill Taylor, Revd Jeremy Tresise, Revd Rob Weir, Revd Gary Windon (AP).  

Supernumeraries : Revd Jenny Arthurs, Revd Christopher Denney, Revd Ian Duffy, Revd Andrew Gunstone, Revd Jennie Henshall, Revd Eric Kirkman (URC), Revd Margaret Lockwood, Revd Charlotte Lorimer, Revd Malcolm Lorimer, Revd Will Morrey, Revd James Needham, Revd Michael Parrott, Revd Dr. Graham Patrick, Revd J. Stuart Rhodes, Revd Gordon Ryder, Revd Helen J. Stubbs, Revd Carol Vessey, Revd David R. Westhead.  

Lay Workers: Heather Staniland, Kathryn Davies, Revd Geoff Etherton, Sally Graham, Elizabeth Morris, Jonathan Newbould, Stephen Parker-Aiken, Andy Townsend.  Admin: Judith Bell, Carol Lindsay.

This Circuit seeks to be innovative, following the lead of God’s creative Spirit. 

It is actively looking afresh at its mission, witness, and use of its buildings. 

We have a Quiet Garden for meditation and stillness, a Fresh Expression of Church developing in a purpose built Cafe, as well as traditional town centre churches and small rural chapels.  In addition, within our Circuit is the long established Museum of Primitive Methodism at Englesea Brook.  The innovative approach of the Circuit continues with lay leadership commissioned in many chapels, and working together in Mission Areas, where human, financial, and creative resources are shared and pooled.  Over 35 active local preachers lead worship and five are currently in training.

Give thanks for:

  • The committed team of Circuit Stewards and Officers;
  • A flourishing of outreach to our local schools initiated by our lay workers and in support of our churches;
  • The exciting new circuit-wide youth project, Ygnite;
  • Ecumenical involvement and true ‘on the ground’ working together;
  • The Lay Leaders and Lay workers who contribute authentic ministry in many and diverse ways;
  • The radical and prophetic work of the fresh Expression ‘What’s Happening on North Street?’ in Crewe;
  • The faithfulness of our members and their willingness to respond to changes in Mission and Ministry.

God of light and life, touch our hearts this day with the fire of Your spirit and the gentleness of Your touch.  Grant us a clear vision of where You would lead us and the courage that enables us to follow.  May Your peace fill our hearts and Your love inspire our deeds as we journey on with You above us, beside us and within us.  Amen. 

 

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Day 9 – Cheshire South Circuit  (11/08)   (2) 

Please pray for:

  • Our Superintendent, and staff team, as they seek to be challenging in their oversight of great change;
  • Our Lay Workers and Lay Leaders, as they use their God given gifts in ministry that may see the Kingdom of God growing;
  • Those within our Circuit who are undergoing times of great personal challenge and suffering;
  • Open minds and generous hearts amongst all those with influence, that spirituality may be broad, deep, and inspiring; death accepted with grace, and resurrection follow with conviction and joy;
  • Initiatives for Justice, Fair Trade, and radical inclusion;
  • The ongoing and courageous conversations that are being held across the Circuit regarding the future mission and ministry of our churches and the possible re-shaping that this may bring;
  • Potential new opportunities for mission at Lightwood Green, Shavington and North Street, Crewe.

Creating and sustaining God, help us to see where You are already active and inspire us to join in.  May we no longer be bound by all that is past but instead see the signs of new growth in Your kingdom and the hope that lies in Your future. Challenge us to be the change that You want to see in Your church and in our communities and may our lives reflect Your gracious mercy and generous love. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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Day 10 – Methodist Homes for the Aged 

The Aim for MHA in our District is to create an awareness of the dedicated Christian Caring work carried out by all the Staff in our Homes, fulfilling our Mission to those in need.

The MHA Homes are situated in the various locations, and each with a Chaplain.

1.  Chapel Fields, Frodsham.
2.  Callin Court, Chester.
3.  Claybourne, Stoke-on-Trent.
4.  Adlinton House, Apartments, at Newcastle-under-Lyme.

There is also a “Live at Home Scheme” in Stoke-on-Trent.

Give thanks for:  

  • The dedication and witness of all the Staff in all our Homes: the Care Managers, their Deputies, the Carers, Cooks, Domestic Staff and the many Volunteers who freely give of their time with their gifts and talents;
  • Our Chaplains who undertake and share the Gospel of the Love of Jesus with the Residents, their Families and the Staff.

Please pray for:     

  • The work and witness of the love of Jesus to everyone in our Homes by so many;
  • The financial support from all our Churches in our District, enabling the Christian caring to continue;
  • The Residents and their supportive families that God will surround them with His Love and Peace.

We praise You, God our Father, that You never forget us, and that even when we feel most alone and afraid, we can be certain that Your loving arms are closely around us.  Let us be courageous in that love, loving to those around us, and thankful and peaceful that we are Your people, and that we all belong to the Family of God.  Amen.


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Day 11 – Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum of Primitive Methodism – “Using Heritage for Mission”

Project Director:  Mrs Ruth Hilton
Research Director: Revd Dr Tim Macquiban
Education & Museum Officer:  Mrs Margaret Veal
Heritage & Mission Officer: Mrs Jane Parker-Aiken

Dr Jill Barber retired in July 2019, and we give thanks for her vision and leadership. 

The new Open Store is testament to her vision – access to over 5,000 artefacts from the collection, each one with a story of how the Primitive Methodists responded to the gospel in their own time and place.  Tours of the store happen daily – just call in or why not organise a church group visit?

Ruth, Tim and the rest of the team look forward to continuing the work through the programme of heritage talks and monthly services, each one engaging with Primitive Methodist themes in contemporary ways.  Do check our website and come along, you are guaranteed a warm welcome!  

We give thanks for:

  • The opening of the new Open Store, despite numerous setbacks;
  • The dedication and hard work of staff and volunteers; 
  • The growth of second hand book sales at Hassall Road Alsager;
  • Jill Barber and all that she has achieved.

Please pray for:

  • New opportunities to share the gospel of Christ in relevant ways both at the museum and at Hassall Road;
  • New staff as they settle into their new roles;
  • Our links within the community and with the World Church, particularly South Korea and the USA.

Loving God,
We thank You for the faith and vision of those Primitive Methodists
who shared the unconditional love of Christ
with the poor, the marginalised and the forgotten.
May the enthusiasm of their preaching, prayer and political activism
inspire within us a spirit of liberating love,
to seek for justice and peace, 
and to reconcile our fractured and despairing world. 
Amen.

 

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Day 12 – Local Preachers and Leaders of Worship

Local Preachers’ Secretary and Tutors’ Coordinator: Mr Brian Gordon 

Leaders of Worship and Preachers’ Trust Convenor: Mr Stanley Clowes

Local Preachers and Worship Leaders serve the Methodist Church and are an intrinsic part of the life and witness of the Church.  They are responsible for the leading of services in most of the District’s churches each Sunday and many have served for a number of years, willingly responding to the message inspired by God.

Give thanks for:

  • The people who are responding to God’s call to share the Gospel within worship; 
  • The people who assist with the training and development of Local Preachers and Worship Leaders as their tutors and mentors;
  • Those who have completed their training and are now stepping out in their calling;
  • Those who have been leading for many years, for their commitment and dedication;
  • The Christian witness both within our churches and within our communities by preachers and worship leaders. 

“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.  I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!” Deut. 32:2-3 (NIV)

Please pray for:

  • The ministry and work of our Local Preachers, those active and retired;
  • The gifts and service of our local church Worship Leaders;
  • All those in training, as they study and learn, and for their tutors and mentors. May each one be aware of your constant guidance and direction as they study, prepare and present the message.  May all grow in their own personal journey and gain experiences to share with others. May they continue to kindle the fire of Your love as they commit to your ongoing will;
  • All who prepare and lead our services, that that they may be strengthened for their service and encouraged in what they say and do for the gospel of Jesus Christ; 
  • Each one who preaches your Word; that they may have grace and humility, imagination and passion, trust and confidence in Your power;
  • Faithfulness to study, for quiet time to study your word, and for wisdom and direction; 
  • All hearers of the Word; that they may have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to receive good news, and that they may be spurred into action to be followers of Christ, sharing His love to all.  Amen.

 

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Day 13 – Saltbox 

Chief Executive:
Lloyd Cooke

Saltbox is synonymous across Stoke-on-Trent and beyond for promoting united Christian mission and also providing community-based services for vulnerable and marginalised members of society.  

CareLink helps lonely and isolated older people to socialise and maintain healthy independence in their own homes. 

Restart offers support, housing and spiritual development to ex-offenders.

Money Matters helps Foodbank clients on low incomes with advice and debt management.

We work hard to nurture potential partnership opportunities with statutory, voluntary and community organisations to help bring about community cohesion and transformation.  Our Christian faith is paramount in everything we do and is the foundation that Saltbox is built on.  On a continued basis, we work with churches and faith groups to promote UNITY, PRAYER and MISSION across the region.

Please pray for God’s blessing on the work of Saltbox and pray specifically for:

  • Its advice and support of churches and Christian ministries;
  • Its role as a bridge with various local secular agencies, media outlets and the wider voluntary sector;
  • Its various caring services including Restart (housing and supporting ex-offenders), CareLink (telephone befriending for lonely, older people), Money Matters (debt advice alongside Stoke Foodbank);
  • Its Chief Executive, Lloyd Cooke, the Senior Management Team and Trustee Board as they all seek to grow the Saltbox vision;
  • Increased favour on its partnership working and increased funding as the work grows.

Lord of all, we thank You that You empower us to care for all people and especially those facing many and varied needs.  

Bless all that we do in Your name, and bring to us those who need to find us, and also those who have a heart for reaching out with us and extending our vision.  Amen.

T: 01782 207200 ext 203 

@www.saltbox.org.uk    f@SaltboxCentre    t@SaltboxCentre


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Day 14 – Market Drayton Circuit  (11/14)

Ministry:
Revd Ruth Jeffries (Superintendent). 

Supernumeraries: Revd Paul Clapham, Revd Edna Perry.  

Youth Worker: Kevin Lee.

Our small Circuit is diverse, with each church congregation having distinctly different approaches to worship, service and community involvement as they each seek to serve Christ.  Market Drayton fellowship enjoys rich corporate worship and continues to ask God through this to equip His people through the gifting and guidance of His Holy Spirit for mission.  Ashley enjoys continued ecumenical togetherness as the churches of Ashley, Loggerheads and Mucklestone worship together with Jesus at the centre, especially through Lent and Easter Services and Harvest celebrations.  Meanwhile, the small congregation of Hinstock, which is now a Class of Market Drayton Methodist Church, continues to walk in faith in companionship with the risen Jesus.  The Circuit looks for opportunities wherever possible to engage with the local communities through events such as Festival of Transport, and Market Drayton 10K, but also organising large scale events such as Buttercross to Bethlehem. 

Give thanks for:

  • The life and work of those preachers and ministers of God’s word who have been taken home to glory in recent times;
  • Those who have been baptized and become members in the last year;
  • Our young people and the work that the Holy Spirit is doing among them;
  • The opportunities that we have had to show God’s love in the community in the past year.            

Please pray:

  • That the Holy Spirit would stir up a new generation of preachers and Ministers; 
  • That our congregation would continue to grow in their knowledge and understanding of Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
  • For the ongoing ecumenical cooperation in Market Drayton ‘Churches Together’ as we seek to serve God in the community through the likes of Foodbank and the CAP services offered here;
  • For vision as to how we can make the best of community outreach opportunities;
  • For workers with a Spirit-fuelled passion for delivering the above.

Lord, we give thanks that You have never left nor abandoned us.  We praise You that we can know this through the constancy of Your Holy Spirit at work in our lives and through our church.  Make us increasingly aware and open to the leading of Your Holy Spirit as we seek to serve You through all that we do.  

Give us fresh and renewing vision that we might see Your kingdom come in this place.  In the name of Christ, Amen.


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Day 15 – Stoke-on-Trent (North) Circuit  (11/15)

Ministry:
Revd Chris J. Ambler (Superintendent), Revd Kim W. Kerchal, Revd Joyce E. Smith.

Lay workers: Naomi Boyd (Children’s worker), Francesca Gravano (administrator).

The Circuit continues to seek to respond through worship and service, with 11 congregations using 12 buildings and working through nightshelter.  We continue to seek to build collaboration across the city and so make good use of available resources.

Give thanks for:

  • The ongoing work of Nightshelter, Foodbank and CAP;
  • The new premises for Norton Community Church being used from the end of July 2019;
  • People training as worship leaders and testing a call to preach
  • New ‘Messy Church’ initiatives in different places and the creation of a new Children and Families worker post to develop these;
  • For new people coming into different congregations.

Please pray for:

  • People from different heritages settling into our congregations, that they will feel welcome and comfortable;
  • Continuing collaboration across the City and particular pieces of shared working with Stoke South;
  • The stationing process as we seek a new Superintendent;
  • New thinking about our mission to the city centre.

Lord in Your generous love You have called us to be Your people, receive Your grace and live out Your love in the world.  Help us to take all you have given us and to use it for the blessing of others in every place we go. 

Grant us wisdom that all we do in worship and service may reflect your generosity and openness.  Enable us to be a welcoming community for all who come whatever their background or heritage.

In Jesus name.  Amen.


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Day 16 – Stoke-on-Trent (Mission) Circuit  (11/18)

Ministry:
Revd Kathryn Stephens (Superintendent), Revd Anthony Clowes, Revd A. Peter Hancock, Revd Ling Yu Ji, Deacon Ellie Griffin.

Supernumeraries: Revd Stephen G. Hatcher, Revd John M. Hibberts, Revd John F. Keeling, Revd W. Arthur Wakelin.

Lay staff:
SwanBank: Alison Lynley, Alice Mashanga, Sam Taylor, Georgina Boden, April Fone, James Adams.

Oasis Church: Amy Wyatt (Lead Pastor), Alice Hall, Jessica Sims. 

Potter’s Church: Carly Clowes, Alison Price (Associate Pastor), Amelia Knapper. 

Kidsgrove (Whitehill & Village Churches): Glynis Cooper (Pastor), Stephanie Aspinall.

Give thanks for:

  • Whitehill and Village Church: the developing of strategic links with their local communities; offering support, friendship and a sense of belonging to those who need it;
  • Oasis Church: the new partnership with the Biddulph youth and community zone: the home of our new office, and where their youth work will now be based;
  • Birches Head and Longton: new people regularly attending worship at both these churches;
  • Packmoor, New Chapel, Wesley Hall, Gateway, Mount Pleasant: the church families in these churches.

Please pray for:

  • God’s blessing on Whitehill and Village Church as they try to immerse themselves in a prayer life that will underpin all that they hope to do, and help them to be bold disciples as they share their faith with others;
  • Oasis Church, where prayers are needed where as a body of all ages, they continue a challenging season of transition; working off multi sites and actively seeking a greater depth of discipleship whilst maintaining a focus on mission and evangelism;
  • Birches Head and Longton: for more people to be added to the already good number of volunteers serving across the ministries of the church;
  • Packmoor, New Chapel, Wesley Hall, The Gateway, Mount Pleasant: God’s blessing and presence on the open air and outreach services which are being developed across these churches.

Father, we ask Your blessing as we continue to develop the unity and mission of the Stoke-on-Trent Mission Circuit.  We pray that through Your Holy Spirit You will give renewed vision and calling to mission for our local congregations and as one united circuit a deeper understanding of Your love for each of us that we in turn can show to each other and to our communities. We pray that through the outworking of our love for others, and our unity, we can help transform our communities, bring others into Your Kingdom and glory to Your Name.  Amen.


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Day 17 – Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB)

District Executive Committee: 
Sylvia Harrison (President), Kath Roberts (Vice-President), Chris Thompson (Forum Representative), Mavis Bailey (Secretary), Margaret Lindley (Treasurer), Ruth Parrott (Conference Secretary).

Methodist women have always supported each other, sharing faith in laughter, tears and friendship.  All women are welcomed into the fellowship of Methodist Women in Britain.  MWiB aims to connect women who have an interest in creative spirituality and a passion for global justice.  

We have a love for the World Methodist Church; the Easter Offering both raises money for the Fund for World Mission and provides an opportunity for circuits to celebrate the World Church.  Our passion for global justice leads us to focus on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to campaign on social issues in this country.  Our District will be spotlighting ‘Invisible Women’, shining a light on issues that make women invisible within communities and institutions.  As part of this, we are raising money for maternity services in Ethiopia, including fistula treatment.   

Give thanks for:

  • Women who have been encouraged, empowered and enabled by MWiB to use their talents - leadership skills, creative flair and pastoral ability - in their churches and communities as they live out the gospel;   
  • Connections across the world made through the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women (WFMUCW).

Please pray for:

  • Women who live in communities without maternity care; 
  • People who have no access to clean water and sanitation (SDG 6);
  • Strategies to enable us to reach out to younger women and to women in areas without a strong MWiB presence;
  • The “Thursdays in Black” campaign, supported by MWiB, which aims to challenge attitudes to violence and stand in solidarity with women around the world experiencing violence in all forms.

Loving God

In Jesus You affirmed the haemorrhaging woman, healed as she touched Your coat.  You had the imagination to look past her broken body to see her faith and her potential.  Help us to give that same deep response to all those with whom we have contact, whether they are people met in our day-to-day lives or people we know only through the words and pictures of others.   Amen. 

 

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Day 18 – Just a Stone

based on Revelation 4 : 3 and 1 Peter 2 : 4 – 8

Lord, did I hear You right a moment ago?
Did You really say You wanted me to be a stone for You?
What sort of stone?
A small pebble among the thousands on a beach or shale hillside?
A boulder?  A lump of granite?

You are a stone, of course, I remember that.
You are the Cornerstone, the stone that the builders rejected,
Chosen by God, and precious to Him.
And I am a tiny, living part of the Church that You are building,
And so a stone in that sense.
It doesn’t seem very exciting, but I suppose in Your eyes it is good.

The Temple that You loved in Jerusalem was covered with stones –
Beautiful, rare, precious stones, and as people came near
They gloried in the sunshine that set the temple walls ablaze with dancing light.
John on Patmos saw Your light, but purer, clearer, shining from Your throne.
He likened it to jasper and carnelian, crystal clear green, glowing red,
And I wonder if You are saying, Lord,
That the humble, imperfect stone of Your Church that is me
Could maybe also shine?
That if I brush off the dust and detritus that I allow to gather between You and me,
And lift my face to the warm and cleansing rain of Your love,
Then the light from Your throne could bathe my soul
And help me to shine with the true colours that You have placed inside me.
All those whose lives touch mine
Could then see it, and give You glory.

I’d really like to be that kind of stone, Lord,
And I think that perhaps that was what You had in mind.
I am willing to be whatever kind of stone You need, Lord –
Only let me glow from deep within my soul with the radiance of You,
In praise and worship of all that You are to me.           (Sue)

 

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Day 19 – Immerse (Venture FX)

Ministry:
Pioneer Mission Leaders: David Oxford and Simon Sutcliffe

Immerse continues as a missional community in the District that has developed a distinct rhythm of life and continues to make a difference on a small ex-miners’ estate in Kidsgrove.  This has been a tough year for Immerse who have had to manage many changes.  We continue to support folk who live with anxiety, depression and a range of mental health issues and we are working even more closely with young families on the estate.  It has become apparent that the community centre building is going to need huge refurbishment.  This is slightly daunting for such a vulnerable and small community and will mean further structural change in order to demonstrate good governance and accountability when applying for significant funding.

Give thanks for:

  • The various groups that form the work of the community centre: especially Brighter Nights (a drop in centre for adults with learning difficulties) and the Youth Club; 
  • The young families who make up our Stay & Play team;
  • The creativity and energy of the folk of Immerse who are looking forward to a new project and long for a world transformed.

Please pray for:

  • Immerse as they continue to plan for the future without Venture FX funding; 
  • The Methodist Pioneering Pathways, as Immerse supports others who are looking to pioneer new forms of ministry and community; 
  • Strength and wisdom for members of immerse as they look to funders and contractors; 
  • People who we do not yet know, but with whom God is already at work, to come across our path;
  • Creation itself and all those working to sustain it;
  • The local councils and politicians who need to work hard to create a Kidsgrove for all;
  • The wider Methodist Church to recognise the potential in the pioneering movement.

A prayer of commitment (from the immerse prayer app):

Heavenly One,
You are beyond all knowledge and yet fully known to us.
You are outside of our experience and yet deep within us.
We commit ourselves anew to follow Your will and to work towards Your purposes
that all the world might be transformed for the benefit of all creation.
Fill us with hope, we pray, in Jesus name.  Amen. 


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Day 20 – Stoke-on-Trent (South) Circuit  (11/20)

Ministry:
Revd Linda J. Catlow (Superintendent), Revd Ian S. Coates, Revd Jeff M. Short.

Supernumeraries: Revd Stuart Hickerman, Revd Alexander Brown

The Stoke-on-Trent South Circuit takes in three towns of the Potteries: Stoke, Fenton, and Longton.  It also incorporates the rural community of Forsbrook, the housing estates of Meir, Lightwood, Sandford Hill, Fenton Park and the suburban areas of Trentham and Blythe Bridge.  The Circuit is made up of nine churches: Broadway, Fenton Park, Lightwood, Longton Central Hall, Sandford Hill, Temple Street, Trentham, West End, and one church operating on two sites at Forsbrook and Blythe Bridge. 

Give thanks for:

  • Lay Employees across the Circuit who cover administration, centre managing, work with all ages in the community and for the community; 
  • The volunteers from church and community who willingly give of their time to help with events/projects across the Circuit; 
  • The use of Blurton Methodist Church as the Stoke-on-Trent Foodbank Warehouse and for the work that takes place there and across the city to help those in need; 
  • The children’s work and worship across the Circuit as we run Messy Church, Junior Church/ Sunday Clubs, Holiday Clubs, Family Fun&Food, Youth/Children’s midweek Clubs;
  • The various clubs and fellowship groups for adults which run across the Circuit: lunch clubs; bereavement group; Bible fellowships; ladies fellowships; midweek coffee mornings.

Please pray for:

  • The ongoing conversation with Stoke North Circuit as we find ways to work more closely together;
  • The new Centre Manager and her team at the West End Community Centre, Café;
  • Longton Central Hall as the City Church Review is carried out;
  • Our Ministers and the Circuit Leadership Team as they prepare for a year of change in 2020.

God who journeys with us:
As the sun rises and the day begins, 
as we get up and rush through, 
sometimes not seeing or hearing you, 
You see us, You hear us, You journey with us. 

God who journeys with us:
As noon time comes and the lunch time bell echoes
As we stop to eat and drink, 
sometimes not recognising your nourishment, not giving thanks to you,
You feed us, You are thankful for us, You journey with us. 

God who journeys with us:
As the sun goes down and night begins
As we stop to rest,
sometimes not resting in You,
You rest with us, You stay with us, You journey with us. 

We now stop quietly to rest in you and bring those things we regret…
Ever loving and forgiving God
You will always journey with us:
In our sunrise
In the noon time
In the sun going down
May we see you before we rush in, may we thank you for your nourishment
May we rest in You.  Amen.

Revd Linda J. Catlow


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Day 21 – Agricultural Chaplaincy

Cheshire Agricultural Chaplain:  Sharon Mayer   

Thank you so much for all your prayers for the Chaplaincy over the past year. 

We are growing in number and also reach.  We have welcomed new volunteers and now have a diverse team of farmers, lay readers, a land agent, a solicitor and caring people with a passion for the farming community.  We are blessed with Helen who shares what we do on Facebook, twitter and the website and encourages readers with a daily thought or smile.

We have a steady stream of calls from people needing help but you don’t have to look far to see people in need.  We are going through two weeks of funerals and are deeply aware of several young people facing serious and terminal illnesses. We aren’t just there for the farming crises but also for the human tragedies that beset all walks of life

Farming wise, prices continue to remain at a level that makes most farmers wonder why they bother especially when they see/hear repeated and deeply critical attacks on what they do.  The echo chamber of the Internet repeating the same old misguided comments is causing untold harm to farmers’ mental welfare. All are entitled to hold their views but we must ALL (including farmers) seek to share them in a polite and respectful manner.  It is a great pleasure when we go to participate in services to hear much understanding and support for the farming fraternity and we are truly grateful for that

We seek to counterbalance the hardships that many farmers face with social and fun fundraising events.  We hold six lunches on a monthly basis in Cheshire which are well attended.  John Archer, the Christian comedian and magician who reached the BGT semi-finals gave us another wonderful evening of comedy and magic and downright belly laughs – such good medicine.  He was preceded by Simon Lamb a fantastic auctioneer from Wright Manley who helped us raise money through an auction.  He was professional, hugely able and raised many a laugh.

We have been greatly supported by Wright Manley at Beeston market in many ways.  We have been able to go in week by week to chat with farmers and hear the current news and mood and they have franked our many letters and hosted our Christmas carol services.  It is with unbelievable sadness that we heard they have ceased trading. Not to have a single market in Cheshire is catastrophic and now all the farmers will have to go out of county to buy and sell.  This has a major impact on the social fabric of farmers which is already fragile.  Travel times are longer for man and beast and we are unsure as to how we can respond best.  Many wonderful staff at Beeston have lost their jobs very suddenly and many farmers are left being owed money which they may never see and will break their businesses through no fault of their own.  The outcome of this is deeply serious.

Please pray for:

  • The consequences of the closure of the market and for all those affected;
  • Money to reach the right hands and for staff to find new jobs;
  • Increased resilience as farming gets ever tougher and uncertain (I haven’t even mentioned the B word!);
  • Our young farmers… for innovation and enthusiasm and for effective succession planning;
  • Us as a team to work well together.  The work is hard but with God’s help very rewarding.

If anyone would like us to give a talk or participate in a service, we would be delighted to come and share what we do.

Thank you,
Sharon Mayer, Lead Chaplain
07967 559594

 

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Day 22 – North Staffordshire Circuit  (11/22)

Ministry:
Revd John B. Palmer (Superintendent), Revd Christine J. Legge, Revd Joy R. Ventom, Revd James Pritchard (Keele University Free Church Chaplain).

Supernumeraries: Revd Peter Bayley, Revd Cecil P. Mann, Revd John Taylor.

Circuit Pastoral Worker – Ms Mary Bellamy

Support staff: Mrs Michelle Bradbury (Circuit Administrator), Mrs Kaye Chadwick (Circuit Finance Book Keeper) 

Our Circuit is built up of eleven churches, including town centre, urban, suburban, and rural areas.  A new church plant has begun and is overseen by Revd Peter Hancock.  Whilst there is some really good work happening around the Circuit, in reality there are parts of the circuit where mission and outreach are more challenging.  The Circuit Leadership Team have spent time talking, listening, thinking, and praying about what shape the Circuit will look like in just a few years’ time.  We are conscious that it may look very different with fewer buildings needed.

Give thanks for:

  • Positive signs of churches and people wanting to engage more seriously in mission and outreach; 
  • New initiatives that are being explored around the Circuit; 
  • A more strengthened fellowship across the Circuit;
  • Some churches wanting to engage and share worship services with others.

Please pray for:

  • The Circuit Leadership Team as they try work through the recent mission policy;
  • A renewed enthusiasm for all churches to engage in real mission;
  • All children’s work across the Circuit;
  • The new church plant and all who have a vision to do something different.

Challenging Lord,
You challenge who we are in the work and witness of the Kingdom.
You challenge us to take risks but often we would rather shy away.
You challenge us to use our time and talents for You but often we find other things to do.  May we respond to your call upon our lives today.
May we do so graciously and generously.
May we be the people who call us to be.  Amen.

 

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Day 23 – The District Mission and Ministries Team 

Manager: Ian White

The ‘District Team’ continues to support a number of Circuits across the District as it has since its inception in 2012.  Responding to and sharing the gospel is at the heart of our work.  We see a wide range of contexts and work to seek meaningful ways of sharing good news through the local church.

Support in five Circuits to date with work continuing in two Circuits has been very positively received.

Dialogue with other Circuits is ongoing and we value the openness shown across the District and the way the team’s work has been both recognised and embraced.

Further members of the District Team have been recruited in the past year to meet specific local needs.

Give thanks for:

  • Many positive responses to the involvement of the Team in Circuits and local churches;
  • The continued interest across the District in engaging with the Team in a variety of situations and for a variety of reasons;
  • Each member of the District Team who brings their own unique gifts and graces to work across the District;
  • The coordination of the Team and the discernment of new opportunities for mission and ministries;
  • Other Districts who have embraced the concept of the Team and who have now made appointments to develop the Church’s calling in this way;
  • A continued emphasis on sustainability of work to ensure that when the presence of the Team comes to a conclusion the activity is maintained in the local context.

Please pray for:

  • The ongoing work in the Staffordshire Moorlands and Cheshire South Circuits;
  • Circuits and churches in their ongoing consideration of future Ministry needs;
  • Continuing strong mutual support amongst and between the members of the Team.



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Day 24 – Staffordshire Moorlands Circuit  (11/24)

Ministry:
Revd Julie Hassall (Superintendent), Revd Eleanor J. Smith, Revd Richard K. Pope (AP), Revd Ashley Cooper (Cliff College).  

Supernumeraries: Revd John A. Bates, Revd Colin S. Cooper, Revd John M. 

Edwards, Revd Anthony R. Tagg, Revd David W. Watson, Revd E. Wollaston (URC) Lay workers: Donald Haslam (Voluntary Lay Worker), Debbie Beville (Circuit Administrator), Mark Hatcher, Sarah Ault, Margaret Parkinson, Jonathon Newbould, Abigail Ratcliffe (District Team).

The Staffordshire Moorlands Circuit covers a large and diverse area – outstanding countryside, market towns, farming communities and villages which share both the joy of rural life together and the challenges of frailty and isolation.  The area benefits from the many visitors it welcomes each year.  It has a rich heritage, and its churches reflect a diverse theological understanding of the Gospel. It still enjoys many fruitful ecumenical partnerships as the church seeks to be actively engaged in servant ministry.

Give thanks for:

  • The signs of new life within the Circuit – Local Preachers and Worship Leaders in training, a greater Circuit commitment to work amongst families and children, new Circuit Stewards, and all the little signs day by day of God’s goodness in creation; 
  • Those whose ministry moves to new areas this year, both lay and ordained, and all who feel God’s prompting within the Circuit to some new avenue of service; 
  • Those who work out their calling quietly, ‘in the background’ to enable so many things simply to take place.                

Please pray for:

  • Prayerful attentiveness to the Spirit in discerning what to lay down and what to take up throughout the Circuit;
  • Those suffering in isolated communities with the burden of caring for the elderly and the frail – in body, mind or spirit;
  • Churches in all their diversity, that in our conferring and in our listening we may be gracious towards one another.

Life giving God, You are beside us in the joys and the challenges of each day. Guide Your church in the beautiful Moorlands so that all we do and say and think may be a reflection, not just of the glory around us but of Your face.  

Remind us on the days when we feel broken that so often it is through the cracks that the light shines in, and help us this year to focus our hearts and minds on that small corner of our lives which You call us to share with someone else.  

In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

 

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Day 25 – Beacon House of Prayer and Christian Centre

Ministry:
Revd William R. Porter 

The Beacon has twin aims: 
To host the presence of the Lord, and to prepare the way of the Lord.

With this in mind, we try to create a prayerful space where people can come and find a place to pray and encounter the love of God.  We have multiple prayer rooms available for personal or group use. 

We also have a central prayer room, where a team lead a daily rhythm of worship and prayer.  This is our ‘engine room’ where we gather to seek the Lord and prayer ‘your kingdom come’ over local, national and global issues.

The Beacon is facilitated by a wonderful team of volunteers, helping with all areas of ministry, and by our wider community who support the Beacon vision.

In addition: we host conferences and teaching events; we offer opportunities for prayer for healing and also prayer ministry; we provide ways of exploring creative prayer and worship. 

Thank God with us for:

  • The many opportunities to connect with many other prayer groups and ministries in the UK and around the world;
  • The faithful prayer rhythms that continue every week in the house;
  • The people who have met the Lord as they received personal prayer ministry from the team.

Please pray for:

  • Plans to develop further training in prayer and discipleship;
  • Our role as a hub for connecting houses of prayer in the nation, and our annual leaders gathering in the autumn;
  • Our leadership team as we give a lead to the activities and future vision of the house.

For more information on the activities and ongoing ministry of the Beacon house of prayer, please see our website: www.beaconhop.org 

email: thebeaconhop@gmail.com 

telephone 01782 8272398

Thanks for your prayers.  Do come and visit.

God bless, Revd Dr William & Mrs Karen Porter

 

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Day 26 – Safeguarding

District Safeguarding Officer: Mrs Fiona Weir

We are called to respond to the gospel by demonstrating God’s love, grace and generosity.  Our response should involve action as well as prayer, and although it may be challenging we will be strengthened when we work in partnership with followers of Christ locally, nationally and internationally.  The ‘gospel’ is understood in the broadest sense from Creation to Revelation and beyond to the mission of the Church.

We ask for:

  • Wisdom and understanding for all involved in safeguarding within our District;
  • For our Safeguarding Officers at a Church, Circuit and District level;
  • For our Foundation and Advanced Module trainers;
  • For our District Safeguarding Board;

That as they undertake their roles, they are enabled to listen well and respond well, to signpost and to care for those they encounter through all aspects of their safeguarding roles. 

That they may:

  • Reflect God’s love and radical grace;
  • Demonstrate the compassion and care of Christ;
  • Allow the Holy Spirit to be poured out and work through their lives;
  • Walk alongside those in darkness and share the light of Christ within, shining light on the path.  Amen.

Creator God, Lord of all.

We see the beauty of your creation, your love poured out on our earth - declaring your praise and adoration for all you have created.  In the light of your splendour, darkness is illuminated, truth pouring love into lives and light into places of darkness. 

We give thanks for those who stand as lights against darkness, for those who share knowledge and understanding of Safeguarding within our places of worship and our wider church communities.  Amen.

 

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Day 27 – Methodist Book Centre

Manager: Julie Ann Ellis

Julie Ann Ellis continues to lead the team at the Methodist Book Centre who welcome visitors to the shop in Gitana Street Hanley (just off Trinity Street) and also to the online shop at www.crfl.co.uk.  As well as the thousands of Christian books available to purchase we have now incorporated some Fair Trade products previously available from Trade Aid which has now closed at the Centre.  We thank Ann Worthington for all her work in making various products from different countries available for purchase helping to ensure a fair remuneration for producers.  The staff at the Centre have a mission – to enable others to know of the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We give thanks for:

  • The continued success of the Book Centre particularly at Conferences, synods etc.  We have held a bookstall at the Cliff college Festival for the first time;
  • The increasing ecumenical aspect of our outreach – not just Methodist but Anglican, URC, Salvation Army and other events;
  • The increasing use of the resources available to help churches and groups with their own mission of proclaiming the gospel;

Please pray for:

  • The team at the Centre as they help many people understand better the Christian faith as well as providing pastoral support to people unsure about going to church;
  • The authors and publishers of the books and other resources as they seek to encourage others on their Christian journey;
  • Those people who are committed to running periodic bookstalls at their own church.

Loving God, we give thanks for the calling that You have given to the Methodist Book Centre of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus to so many people including some who have no contact with any church.  We pray for all the staff and committee members of the Centre as they seek to make the Good News known in this specific and different way.  Lord, please guide and encourage those who have come to know of Your love through the work at the Centre and at the increasing number of bookstalls it arranges throughout the year.  We pray that You will continue to provide opportunities for the Centre to be part of Your mission on earth.  Amen.

 

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Day 28 – Learning Network – North West & Mann Region 

(which includes Chester & Stoke-on-Trent)

The Learning Network is part of the Connexional Team and is based in this North West & Mann region. 

We thank you for praying for us, we really appreciate it, we too pray for you. 

We are here to support you in your circuit as together we respond to the gospel of God’s love in Christ to enable you to live this out in discipleship, worship and mission. 

What does this look like in reality?  If your circuit or church would benefit from an external facilitator, maybe call us.  If there are learning and development needs for any of your leaders, maybe we can respond helpfully. 

The person who links between this District and the team is Alison Ball.  However, all the team have a range of skills and Alison will ensure the right member of the team is brought in to best meet your needs. 

This year we have some staffing changes, Alison Ball is co-coordinating with Alison Ransome whilst Alison R is seconded half time to the Connexional Vocations Advisor.

Please pray:

  • For the team as we transition into a new way of being team; 
  • That we can continue to build positive relationships with all the Circuits and keep our ears open to God’s will as we journey alongside you helping to discern how to be a relevant church which is open to learn and develop; 
  • Communicating with a whole region is a challenge for us, we are trying new ways to do that this year, please pray for this. 

And please do sign up for our newsletter at discipleshaped.org 

Alison Ransome
Alison Ball
Alison Hulse
Brec Seaton
Edel McClean
Jasmine Devadason
Melody Clarke
Simon Sutcliffe 

Our team prayer:

Jesus, we entrust ourselves, our team and our work to you today.  Amen.


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Day 29 – Those who use their creative gifts in God’s service

Today we pray for all those who by their gifts enrich our worship, our belief and understanding, and our praise to God.

We give thanks for:

  • Music makers – organists, groups and bands, individual musicians, solo singers and choirs, and all those who not only lift our hearts in worship, but enable us to learn new music with which to “sing hymns, psalms and spiritual songs” to our God;
  • Dancers, and all who by their movements of praise share their delight and wonder in the love of God;
  • Banner makers, embroiderers, and all those who use their creative skill with thread and yarn to fill our worship spaces with colour, and enable us to reflect on the glory of God;
  • Those who week by week provide, arrange and distribute flowers;
  • Our technicians, and all who use their skills to provide the words to our hymns and readings, and enable those with disabilities to take a full part in worship;
  • Those who provide hospitality, creating warm and friendly places where people can meet, enjoy refreshment, and talk together.

We pray they may never feel overlooked, or unappreciated.  

We pray God’s blessing on those He has gifted, and that He will grow their gifts in them, and empower them by His Spirit to have the courage to share their talents, and empower others in His name.

Creator God, as we look around us, we realise again that all the things we enjoy and appreciate are gifts from You.  

We pray that You will show us how we can respond to Your generosity by being creative in our turn, and growing our gifts to make Your world a more beautiful place, enabling everyone to give You the glory.  Amen.

 

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Day 30 – Chester & Stoke-on-Trent District 

District Chair:  Revd Helen R. Kirk
Deputy Chair:  Revd Linda J. Catlow
Synod Secretary:  Mr Ian C. White
Presbyteral Synod Secretary and Assistant Synod Secretary:  Revd Chris J. Ambler
District Administrator and PA to the Chair:  Mr Rob Glassonbury
District Safeguarding Officer:  Mrs Fiona Weir
District Treasurer:  Mr Steve E. Best

The District Centre based at Broad Lane Methodist Church, Bishops Wood, Nantwich is normally open weekday mornings 9:30 to 11:30am seeking to ensure the smooth running of the District and the support of the Circuits, ministers and lay leaders of the Circuits.  It provides resources and information and acts as a hub for the life of the District as well as a venue for meetings and training.

Give thanks for:

  • The District Mission & Discipleship Policy agreed by Synod;
  • The creative ways the District seeks to enable the mission and ministry of the Circuits and their churches;
  • The District Officers named above and their faithful ministry.

Please pray for:

  • The Revd Peter & Dr Jill Barber as they settle into new patterns of ministry having ‘sat down’ (retired) in the summer;
  • The Revd Helen Kirk as she takes on the responsibilities of District Chair; 
  • The District Policy Committee and the District Resource Management Group (responsible for handling grant requests), the District Safeguarding Board and Safeguarding Officer, the District Committees that seek in a variety of ways to support and enable the work of the Circuits;
  • The Stationing process as the Connexion seeks to continue to cope with the acute shortage of ordained presbyters.

Gracious God, so stir our hearts and minds that as we awake each day, 
we may see the day as a gift from you and our first intention be to walk it with you. 

Grant us to recognise and acknowledge your presence with us throughout the day and respond to your call to faithful discipleship day by day. 

When at last each day ends, may we offer it back to you with thanksgiving 
a
nd to take our rest in peace, for you are the first and the last, 
t
he alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.  Amen.

 

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Day 31 – The Methodist Connexion

Please pray for:

  • Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference 2019/2020.
  • Professor Clive Marsh, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference  2019/2020;      
  • The Secretary of Conference the Revd Dr Jonathan R. Hustler, the Assistant Secretary of Conference Revd Ruth Gee , and all who hold Connexional Office;
  • The Methodist Conference 2020 in Telford, and all who will plan and lead it;
  • Revd Richard J. Teal, President Designate of the Conference in 2020/2021, and Vice-President-Designate Carolyn Lawrence as they prepare for their year of office to start in July 2020;      
  • Members of the Connexional Team based in London and Manchester, and Cliff and Queen’s Colleges.

 

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